Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Black-crowned Night-Heron photographed along the Bird Island Pier.

Scoping April

The month of April starts big and ends big! The onslaught of migrants begins in earnest this month.
We start with waterfowl and raptors, move into temperate migrants and then the early arriving Neotropicals! On the second Sunday of the month is the BOS's annual April Bird Census. We always need volunteers to help cover the BOS's vast study area. If you'd like to help, please contact Celeste Morien, the compiler, at Celeste.morien@gmail.com

This is the best month to spend some time at the local hawk watch in Hamburg. This all-volunteer hawkwatch will have an official counter stationed here daily, unless it's pouring rain. April offers the best diversity for migrating raptors. In addition to highlights of Golden Eagle, Goshawk and Rough-legged Hawk, other species such as diurnal migrant Short-eared Owls, Sandhill Crane, Snow Goose and other rarities have occurred. Pileated Woodpeckers frequently fly through the woods here and this is one of the best spots to cross paths with a Vesper Sparrow during migration.

Iroquois NWR is booming with migrant waterfowl now. Drakes in their full alternate plumage are dazzling to see. Herons and egrets are newly returned and displaying in their rookeries. Osprey are back on their nesting platforms throughout the refuge system. American Bitterns and Virginia Rails will be calling in the marshes. Another gem to be found here is the Black Tern, the last nesting colony in WNY!

Our local migrant hot spots are receiving lots of attention as passerines begin filtering back into town; Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Warm fronts at the end of the month will usher in the first warblers and vireos of the season. Get your hummingbird feeders out as Ruby-throateds and Baltimore Orioles will be looking for fuel. Get your rest! May is up next!


The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.


  Mark Your Calendar Now!

2017 NYS Birders Conference / NYSOA Annual Meeting
November 10-12, 2017

The Buffalo Ornithological Society is hard at work planning the 2017 NYS Birders Conference and NYSOA Annual Meeting. The conference will be held at the new Hilton Hotel right at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park, November 10-12, 2017 (Veteran's Day weekend).

Why so late in the year? Because the birding is fabulous then! Waterfowl! Gulls! With possibilities for phalaropes, jaegers, and rare or lingering songbirds! You just never know!

Mark your calendar now and check back here for details in the months ahead.

More About the Conference 



  July 2017 Adirondack Travel Trip

UPDATE -Trip is now full - wait list has been started.
Most of the details are in! I am excited to be offering a BOS Travel Trip this July to Adirondack State Park! We are hiring an ADK native, Joan Collins, to lead us on two of our three days in the park. Joan has an incredible ear and local knowledge of the birdlife. Target species include Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher and the rare and local, Bicknell's Thrush. This trip is limited to 20 participants. Please refer to the Calendar for details.


  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Apr 28, 2017

Non-BOS Event: 29th annual Bird of Prey Days Festival

Details: (click for more info)

April 28-30, 2017

Braddock Bay Raptor Research in Rochester, NY invites everyone to the 29th annual Bird of Prey Days Festival. Consider joining for a weekend of fun on the shores of Lake Ontario. At this location, we see an incredible spring migration of 14+ species of raptors, as well as countless other bird species!


Apr 29, 2017

Field Trip - Dunkirk Harbor and Point Gratiot

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Gale VerHague

Meet at 8am at the city pier at Dunkirk Harbor.

Join Gale for an insider's tour of her local patch. Long time hotspots, Dunkirk Harbor and Point Gratiot have a healthy list of rarities discovered between the two of them.

We are hoping to enjoy a multitude of migrant water birds in Dunkirk Harbor this time of year. Recently returned Caspian Terns and Purple Martins will be a welcome sight. Point Gratiot should give us a taste of things to come with recently arrived Neotropical migrants. Red-headed Wooodpeckers nest here and we hope to enjoy their distinctive calls as the pairs settle in to nest in the oaks and cottonwoods.


May 10, 2017

Meeting - Braddock Bay Bird Observatory Presentation

Details: (click for more info)

Wednesday, May 10th at 7PM: BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Topic to be announced.


May 13, 2017

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve

Details: (click for more info)

Tifft Nature Preserve
Leader - Dave Spiering
Meet at 8am by the Visitor Center.

Join Dave on a half day trip of the region's premier birding location from 8-12. Currently, Tifft boasts a total of 255 species of birds that have been identified within this urban sanctuary. Regional rarities seen at Tifft over the years during May include Kentucky, Worm-eating, Connecticut and Yellow-throated Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat, Tricolored Heron, Sedge Wren and one year on a BOS walk, a Boreal Owl. This trip will focus on the multitudes of Neotropical Migrants that will be moving into the area at this peak time during spring migration. What will be found this spring? Come join us and find out firsthand!


May 21, 2017

May Bird Count

Details: (click for more info)

Sunday, May 21st.

All BOS members should participate in the 81st Annual May Bird Count.

For more information or to volunteer your help, visit our May Count webpage:

May Count Info  



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